Today is the original feast day of Saint Gabriel the Archangel. Unlike most saints that were mortal beings who managed to win favor with the Lord, Saint Gabriel is an Angel – an Archangel. Human Saints are individuals who, like all people, are riddled with sins, faults and imperfections. Yet these people achieve sainthood through the simple and unselfish act of surrendering to the will of God. But what about angels?
Angels, and Archangels, are by their very nature closer to God. They are heavenly beings. Yet they too must willingly surrendered to God. Free will is not exclusively human, but exists in all God’s creations. Lucifer is an example of an angel’s free-will.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel is a messenger of the Lord found in both Old and New Testament scripture. We know from scripture that Gabriel spoke directly to people three times. First, Gabriel appeared to the Prophet Daniel as he slept. Gabriel was sent to explain the visions Daniel was having, and reveal their meaning. We next meet Gabriel when he appeared to Zacharias to tell him that his wife, Elizabeth, was to have a son; John the Baptist. The last time Gabriel is known to have spoken with a person was at The Annunciation. He told Mary to have no fear, for she had found favor with the Lord and would bring forth The Christ Child.
God entrusted Gabriel with the delivering of the most important message of the faith, as well as other messages. Because of this, he is the patron saint of messengers, telecommunications workers, and postal workers.
Prior to Vatican II, Saint Gabriel the Archangel had his own feast day, celebrated on the eve of the Annunciation. After 1969, the Church combined the Archangel Feast Days of Michael, Raphael and Gabriel. The Feast of Archangels is observed on September 29.
To honor the Feast of Saint Gabriel apart from the Feast of the Archangels is an individual choice. Often Gabriel is depicted as carrying a lily in his hand. For me, a lovely tea seemed fitting.
Chicken Salad Calla Lily Sandwiches
1/4 cup Walnuts
1 (12.5 oz) can Premium White Chicken
1 (5.2-oz) package Garlic and Herbs Cream Cheese, softened
1 (4-oz) package Cream Cheese, softened
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
Black Pepper to taste
24 slices white bread
24 Green Onions
Paprika as needed
24 Petite Baby Carrots
In a small grinder or coffee mill, finely chop walnut. Set aside.
Drain canned chicken. Place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade. Add Garlic-Herb Cream Cheese, regular cream cheese and seasonings to taste. Blend until a smooth spread is created.
Using a 2 1/2-inch cutter, cut rounds from the bread. With a rolling-pin, roll each bread round to 1/8-inch thickness.
Cut roots from the green onions, remove onion bulbs for another purpose, leaving the green parts only. Trim to create stems for the lilies and set aside.
Spread about 2 teaspoons of the chicken cream cheese mixture on each bread round. Sprinkle center with paprika. Lay a green onion stem toward the bottom of one end, fold the circle over, pinching end to seal, creating a lily.
Insert a carrot in the center for the flower stamen. Sprinkle with a bit of the ground walnut for the pollen. Arrange on a platter and serve.
Zesty Iced Lemon Cookies
Honey Sour Cream Lemon Cookies
1-1/2 med Lemons
7 tablespoons Butter, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
1 large Egg, room temperature
1-3/4 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Honey
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Extract
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheet or use baking mats. Set prepared pans aside.
Zest lemons, divide zest in half and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and set aside.
In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk to combine.
In a third bowl, combine honey, sour cream, half of lemon zest and all of the lemon extract.
Alternating, dry ingredients and honey mixture to creamed mixture, blending well after each addition.
Drop by tablespoonfuls two-inches apart onto the baking sheets. Bake one cookie sheet at a time in the heated oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, let rest for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack. Repeat until all the cookies are baked. Before the cookies cool, make the icing.
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
Brush icing over the warm cookies; sprinkle with remaining lemon zest.